AN EAR, SEVERED, LISTENS
Artists: Kasia Fudakowski, Horst Antes, Emma Hart, Rodrigo Hernández, Hannah James, Zora Mann, Patrizio di Massimo, Vanessa Safavi, Petrit Halilaj (or) Alvaro Urbano
Despite the mist of Berlin’s February plot, ChertLüdde is pleased to present the group exhibition An ear, severed, listens, an exhibition aiming to collect different joyful representations of the human body.
An ear, severed, listens brings together works by ten international artists, including ChertLüdde represented artists, specially invited artists as well as new positions joining the gallery program in the upcoming months.
The first work on view when entering the gallery is a curtain installation by Zora Mann, entitled “Cosmophagy”. The work is made of recycled plastic that was found littered on the beaches and waterways of Kenya. The waste (discarded flip -flops) was collected, cleaned and cut into small beads. The re-assembled beads depict a pixilated eye, which scrutinizes the visitors from it’s entrance position in the gallery space.
Behind the curtain, each of Emma Hart’s three wall-mounted ceramic arms with tapered fingers, hold a clipboard. Concealed from the visitors, the clipboards hide images, which can only be seen partially by looking up in to the drop-shaped, ‘eye’ mirrors placed above them. The sculptures are egoistically holding a secret in their hands, giving the viewer only a small glimpse of it.
The upper room of the gallery hosts the wallpaper installation “The Selfie and the Self” by Petrit Halilaj (or) Alvaro Urbano. This non-collaborative work is based on a drawing for which both artists claim full authorship. The small drawing depicts a double penis, with legs on each side. This strange figure seems to be attempting to run in two opposite directions at the same time. In one sense it becomes an ironic metaphor of arrogance, stubbornness and obstinacy but also an ironic view on the fragile equilibriums of couples.
A sculptural installation by Vanessa Safavi, consisting of three ceramic female fingers stands in the middle of the same room. The fingernails, painted in different red tones, suggest a stinging moment, in contrast to the alleged masculinity of the wallpaper.
The second exhibition room is dedicated to “Identititisch”, a large-scale table-like sculpture by Kasia Fudakowski. The surface of the table shows a variety of potential faces which might be created by the sliding panels of the anthropomorphic knots and burrs of the wooden veneer.
Sharing the space with “Identititisch” are two series of drawings by Patrizio di Massimo. The drawings recall classical religious figures in ambiguous and captivating poses. They are a selection of works on paper produced by the artist in the last two years. The three drawings from 2015 titled sequentially “Serafini e Cherubini” (Seraphs and Cherubs) show stylised and eroticised representation of angelic figures. The second series, “Almeno tu 1-3”, 2016, picture an almost apocalyptic scenario in which a body is disappearing into a dark background.
In the downstairs room of the gallery a new installation by Rodrigo Hernández proposes a delicate, intimate scenario. A human-like head lies on a painted silver floor, while an unfamiliar shape hangs from the ceiling, somehow reminiscent of a leaf or a musical instrument. This ensemble suggests a closeness and grace, as the only moment we might see a face in this perspective is when lying down on a bed or a floor next to someone else. The silver floor depicts a fragment of something bigger and undefined, like an ocean seen from an airplane above.
Another face can be seen in the painting by Horst Antes „Kopfstillleben mit Relieftapete“ 1969, which is one of his typical portraits. As with Hernandez’s work, a head is inserted into an abstract scenario.
The series of Heads by Hannah James closes the exhibition. This sculptural series is made of several objects suspended over or placed on the floor. Cheap all-purpose bags from shops like Lidl are filled with food and cat litter, and adorned with female accessories, eye masks and rain hats, displaying phrases like “I am recycled plastic, please reuse me”.
An ear, severed, listens is the first exhibition of ChertLüdde, formerly Chert, Berlin. The gallery changed its name following the partnership of the former owner, Jennifer Chert, and Florian Lüdde, who recently joined the gallery.
The title is taken from Paul Celan’s collection of poems Breathturn.